Slipcovered chairs add a sense of ease to the dining area of this Rosemary Beach abode, a collaboration between interior designer Melanie Turner, architect Lew Oliver and builder Stan Benecki for clients Renee and Russ Plumb. A dark custom dining table, a chandelier from Circa Lighting and a Todd Murphy painting, which Russ bought as a gift for Renee, are striking against the primarily white interiors. The chairs are LEE Industries, the lamps are from Circa Lighting and the console is through Lillian August.
In the main living room, a cypress coffered beam ceiling provides warmth and texture. Russ wanted the space to feel comfortable yet orderly, so Turner used a pair of landscape paintings by Charlotte Terrell to conceal the room’s television, while pops of plum reference the homeowners’ family name. Mirror through Design Legacy. Sofa and desk chair through LEE Industries. Desk through Noir. The chandelier is through Currey & Company.
To keep the kitchen open and fuss-free, Turner and builder Stan Benecki installed brass mesh doors to hide cabinet clutter while maintaining an airy feel. Slipcovered barstools from LEE Industries sidle up to the limestone countertops, while a runner from Keivan Woven Arts adds a hint of pattern. The chandeliers are from Currey & Company.
Turner transformed the room just off the entryway into a cozy study since the Plumbs plan to use the beach retreat as their primary residence. Washed oak paneling gives the room warmth, while a desk from Century Furniture provides the perfect place to catch up on emails.
Punctuated by palm trees, this intimate outdoor patio and pool offer just the right amount of comfortable, casual, space for soaking up the sunshine.
In this guest suite which is painted Sherwin-Williams Proper Gray, a wall of drapery panels hides unusable windows and absorbs noise to create a calming retreat. In front of the panels, artwork is suspended from the ceiling by brass chains. Purple hues abound in a plush chair from LEE Industries and drapery fabric through Pindler. The chandelier is through Arteriors.
The guest bath is awash with white.
The master bedroom, painted Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl, is layered with various shades of ivory and is one of Renee’s favorite rooms in the house. The bed was custom designed and features a Cowtan & Tout fabric on the headboard. The mirror above the bed is through Made Goods and the chair is through LEE Industries. Bedside chest through Tritter Feefer, rug through Designer Carpets. The shams and coverlet are Peacock Alley.
This guest bedroom, designed with the Plumbs’ sons in mind, is painted a masculine charcoal gray (Restoration Hardware’s Charcoal). The bed linens are through Traditions Linens.
The master bath is a calming oasis of neutrals; artwork from the Plumbs’ personal collection and a chair from Mr. Brown rest beside a luxurious square tub from Kohler.
Dark gray subway tile from Ann Sacks adds a masculine feel to this guest bath; the mirror is through Mirror Image Home and the sconces are through Circa Lighting.
“It lives like a primary residence instead of a secondary residence because it has more layers.” —Melanie Turner
Renee and russ Plumb are no strangers to working with Melanie Turner; the interior designer has worked with the couple on a total of four projects, which include a family dwelling in East Cobb and an in-town condominium at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Buckhead. With their two sons grown, the Plumbs decided it was time to trade in their suburban house for a beach retreat that could double as a seaside escape and primary residence. When Russ wanted to surprise his wife with a Rosemary Beach home that fit the bill, calling upon Turner—who has completed more than 15 projects in the area and is in the process of building a Rosemary Beach design studio and store—to bring his vision to life once again was a no-brainer.
Along with architect Lew Oliver and builder Stan Benecki, Turner wasted no time in cultivating a relaxed yet sophisticated abode that had the ease of a beach house, as well as all the comforts of a full-time home. To achieve this balance, the designer kept the interiors light and airy, carefully layering touches that wouldn’t normally be included in a vacation home—high-quality artwork, an abundance of accessories, thoughtfully selected draperies and high-end furniture.
“It’s traditional in that it lives like a primary residence instead of a secondary residence because it has more layers.” Turner says. “Rosemary has changed from being small little beach cottages to people now in their 50s wanting to be there full-time.”
Though the home’s color palette is largely composed of calming neutrals, Turner also peppered pops of plum throughout, as a hint of color and a nod to her clients’ name. “It’s the common thread throughout,” Turner says. “Their last name is Plumb, and Renee looks great in it. It just made sense.” Casual linen fabrics, stripes and organic materials embrace the beachside setting, while clever solutions keep the home from feeling over-decorated. In the living room, for instance, Turner concealed the televisions behind a pair of landscape paintings by Nashville artist Charlotte Terrell. Similarly, brass mesh doors in the kitchen create a seamless effect while minimizing clutter.
“It’s the key pieces that you put in a space,” says Turner. “The whole house is very light; you walk in and the nice thing about it is it’s not all in your face, but at the same time it’s really open.” To complement this openness, Turner paid close attention to scale, selectively incorporating larger furnishings to create balance and using dark hues to anchor rooms. In the dining area, which is open to the front door, Turner incorporated a large yet unadorned chandelier to fill space without appearing busy. A moody Todd Murphy painting creates contrast against light floors, fabrics and sideboard, while an antique cowhide rug adds a touch of texture.
This careful balance allows the house to serve as a fully functioning home, where the Plumbs can enjoy their empty nester years. “Everybody’s lifestyles change; you go from small when you start out, to big when you have the kids, back down to small,” says Turner. “That’s the beauty of it, it’s wonderful to see the change.”
INTERIOR DESIGN Melanie Turner, Melanie Turner Interiors (404) 250-0134; melanieturnerinteriors.com BUILDER Stan Benecki, Benecki Homes (404) 250-0999; beneckihomes.com ARCHITECT Lew Oliver